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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Mikey
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Classic Collection
Michelangelo
6 Inch Scale
By: Playmates
$15-$20 (price varies)

The Ninja Turtles have always been a big part of my life. I was part of the generation that rode the wave of the first Ninja Turtle craze and unlike a lot of folks, I hung in until the end. I remember being blown away by the Next Mutation figures and their improved articulation. Unfortunately, shortly after it seemed like the TMNT were finally done for.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

My very first Turtle figure was Michelangelo, back when I was still fairly young. Not only was he my first Turtle figure, but he was the one I liked best. His personality was the most appealing to me (despite not always getting a fair treatment in terms of character development in the cartoons) and I just generally enjoyed him the most. Oddly enough, orange is not my favorite color. That seems to be the motivation for a lot of folks to love a particular Turtle.

Krang and Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

Things worked out in my circle of playmates (no pun intended) back then because nobody else wanted to claim Mikey. My brother preferred Leonardo and my cousin Raphael. Eventually when the toy line was relaunched in 2003 with a new cartoon, I was right there with it. In fact, if it hadn’t been for that 2003 line, this site might not exist.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Krang Walker

See, by 2003, I was plenty good and grown up and had stopped collecting toys for several years. Marvel Legends? Yeah, I missed a lot of that. I didn’t care about toys. I was grown up, don’t ya know? But when the prospect of new Turtles came about, I jumped back in. Eventually it turned me into the hoarder collector that I’ve become today.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Michelangelo at Infinite Hollywood

The Turtles are back for their third attempt at reclaiming the toy aisles (fourth if you count the failed Next Mutation era) and this time they’re not only launching a new cartoon with new toys, but also a retro “Classic Collection” line aimed at collectors. Playmates promised the most collector friendly Turtles ever, with more articulation than ever before… So is Michelangelo ready to start another Renaissance (pun intended) on my Turtles collecting?
Packaging:
I wish I could say the packaging was amazing. You may remember that the old Turtles packages were really cool. Especially in the beginning when each figure got unique card art. Hell, I’d argue that no toy line has EVER come close to comparing to that. The 2003 line didn’t have as nice of packaging, but in the beginning they did do some neat things such as unique backer cards for the core characters.


This package falls a bit short. It’s not bad and it’s sort of an homage to the vintage packages, but it doesn’t reflect them very well. In fact the 25th Anniversary figures from a few years ago had a better imitation card. The back is kind of neat if only because it details some of the Turtles non-kayfabe history.

The real problem is that the package has several pieces of the merchandising art on it. These drawings of the Turtles aren’t bad, but they lack the life and vibrancy of the better artwork. Interestingly enough, the Turtle figures are actually more based on these art models than anything else.


There is one really neat element and that’s a manhole cover formation on the top of the “bubble”. It’s a nice touch and it helps to make these figures look like they are worth keeping in the package. So while I don’t love all the individual parts, the overall presentation isn’t bad, it just doesn’t live up the true classic figures.

Sculpt/Paint:
There’s been some criticism early on that these figures don’t accurately reflect the cartoons counterparts from the classic Fred Wolf Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animation.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

This is true, but that’s because these figures aren’t supposed to. While they are the most accurate toon Turtles to date, they are supposed to be an amalgamation of several sources, including the vintage figures, promo art and the Fred Wolf cartoon.


In that sense, these guys are a home run. Mikey looks a lot like the various sources that he’s been inspired from.


If you weren’t putting him under a microscope, you’d think he was a perfect cartoon recreation. Seriously, show this figure to a casual fan and they’ll think he leaped right out of the screen. Put it under the scrutiny of highfalutin toy nerds and you may not get quite as warm a response.


Personally I think they’re pretty great in most respects. Mike doesn’t have any real detailed sculpting, but that’s because he’s mirroring that animation style. So there aren’t pulsating veins or skin blemishes.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

Heck even the shell is in pretty good shape this time around.


“A FELLOW CHUCKER, EH?!”

That’s not to say that the sculpt itself isn’t detailed, because it is. There’s all the appropriate sculpting and designing, but it’s fitted to an animation style.


The paint work is minimal, but quite solid. The one area where most people are having issues is in the eyes. Mine seem to be painted fine, even though he’s more or less looking up and off to the side. From all the promo pictures and stuff, this appears to be the way he’s supposed to be looking.

Jake Elam Ninja Turtle

Not all the eyes are so nice though. I’ve seen some that look a bit like Jack Elam.


The other controversial issue is scale. Mikey (and all the Turtles by proxy) is just a hair short of 6 1/2 inches tall. Perhaps even more alarming to me is the fact that he’s 2+ inches thick and 3 inches wide. He’s a bulky figure.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

Yet, it feels right in a lot of ways. Never before has the Turtles girth and shell size been recreated so accurately to how it was most often portrayed in the cartoons. The top of the torso is articulated, but the back of the shell only connects to this piece. So it’s almost like he’s wearing a turtle shell backpack.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

Some folks imagine the Ninja Turtles to be like 3 foot tall or something. I honestly don’t get it. That said, these guys ARE big and they won’t fit in perfectly with every figure line. Of course, they’re not designed to.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

They fit in nicely with the 2007 TMNT movie figures, with the exception of width. Those figures were very thin and as such look a bit out of place.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

I think Playmates won’t have a problem scaling other figures to this. Shredder can be 7-7 1/2 inches tall. Same for Rocksteady, Bebop and so on.


“Weren’t you bigger earlier, dude?”

But they tower over the original figures.


I can’t imagine they’ll fit in any of the vintage vehicles. I doubt they’d even squeeze into the Cowabunga Carl van. But oddly enough, Mikey looks fine on the 2003 motocycles.


“Vroom, Vroom!”

Articulation:
Playmates has claimed that this toy has more articulation than any Turtle figure ever. Is that true? Yes, it does appear so. This guy even blows the NECA out of the water.


That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good thing, though. Remember Toy Biz? They used to cram entirely too much articulation into their figures. Often it ruined a sculpt or playability. Mikey isn’t Toy Biz bad, but there are a few things that could have been left out.


The one thing I will say about the articulation is that it’s very creative. The individual toes and fingers are pretty sweet.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

The thumb is actually a swivel hinge! This really allows for some good grasping.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

However I did find that over time, some of the articulation is starting to loosen up. Especially in the arms. Then again, I posed this guy a lot.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

That’s another really nice thing about the articulation… You can get Michelangelo into pretty much any pose you can imagine. That’s a good thing for a Turtle trained in Ninjitsu.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

He also has a really good sense of balance. Which is pretty amazing when you consider all the joints and the heft and girth of the figure. This guy stands way better than Marvel Legends Baron Zemo, for example.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

I constantly found myself putting him in crazy one legged poses, just to see if he would stay standing. He always did.

Accessories:
At this price point with this sort of articulation you can’t expect too much. However the Turtles need their core weapons and that’s what you get here. Each Turtle comes with their main weapon. Mikey is the best, because he comes with two nunchucks that have real chains!


The chains are thick and nice and are even more sturdy than the NECA versions. The chain is longer too. It’s a real winner.


Perhaps the best part is that you can use the nunchaku with the new Nickelodeon Mikey as well. They’re suited for both scales in my view.


The chucks can be stored in his belt.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

You also get a manhole cover stand. It’s pretty bland with no paint other than a tampo of Mike’s name, but it is nicely detailed and could possibly be used as a weapon. It’s a nice bonus, even if the Turtles don’t really need them to stand. It will make putting them onto the shelf much easier.

Krang Android Walker

Value:
These haven’t hit retail yet but the average price is supposed to be around $15. I got mine early, so I paid more. I’ve seen them run up to $20 at some regular retailers, but the word on the street is that Target will only be charging $15. If that’s true, there probably isn’t much else on the market that has this kind of quality and articulation at this price.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 10
Accessories – Nunchucks, Manhole Cover Stand
Value – 10
Overall – 9 out of 10


This is a really nice figure. It’s not perfect though. In fact in a lot of ways the new Nickelodeon figures outshine these “Classic Collection” releases in terms of pure fun. It’s kind of mind boggling, but sometimes less is more. That seems to be the one holdup with these figures.

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

That said, I’m hoping this line succeeds and we get tons of high quality figures like this. My mind would be blown with a Rocksteady, Bebop, Foot Soliders and Shredder… Plus hundreds more.


“Pesky Foot Ninja!”

I do recommend these guys… But they’re more collectibles than toys, I suppose. The Nick figures are more “fun” but these are great figures by any measurable standard, so it’s kind of strange. If you loved the classic TMNT though, you really can’t go too wrong with checking a couple of these out… Or at least your favorite Turtle!

Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review
“Awww, he’s so cute. Master Splinter, can we keep him?!”
BONUS PHOTOS!
Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review Ninja Turtles Michelangelo Review Classic Collection Review Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Review

24 Responses to Ninja Turtle Classic Collection Michelangelo Figure Review

  • Bill White says:

    I'm not the biggest TMNT fan out there, but these guys just look too nice to pass up. The $13 retail price really isn't bad either. I wonder how hard to get these guys will be? Where are all of you online folks scoring these this early?!

  • Your best bet now is Amazon. They have them for $20 and free shipping on over $25. Or just wait until they hit stores. They're supposedly going to be everywhere. So if you're patient, you can pay a lot less.

    Target has them on their website, but not in stock yet and no price listed. But the word is that they'll be $13 at Target whenever they show up.

  • Agent 86 says:

    Great review. I especially appreciate all the scale comparison pictures with the various TMNT action figure lines over the years.

    If Playmates don't make a second series of Classics, at least it looks like a giant-sized Krang from the original series will make for a suitable villains (provided I can afford the hefty Ebay asking price).

  • Thanks man. I'm really hopeful that Playmates will release a second series (and many more!) but you're right, Krang does work pretty well. In fact even the non-Android body version looks great with them. The walker was never to scale before, but it fits in nicely with these Classics.

  • Tommy says:

    Oh man I'm so pumped for these. I really hope the first series sells like hotcakes, because I agree, getting a second series with villains done in this style would be unbelievable. Could you imagine if they did a huge 11 inch Krang's Android Body in that style? Or Rat King, Slash, Baxter Stockman, or any of the other classic villains?

  • jestergoblin says:

    THEY'RE OUT?! I really need to get back in habit of visiting the 'Drome. Anywho, I just ordered my set (I love AmazonPrime)

    The designs strike me as the Red Sky version of the turtles, but the scale on these is downright wonky. For the turtles to be in 6-inch scale they should only be 5" tall… but these look perfect to battle my 7th Kingdoms figures.

    I am very concerned that this will result in me getting back into a larger scale of toys.

  • Wes says:

    Man, that's INSANE that they're bigger than the 2K7 figures. Those things were HUGE.

    I've never said the Turtles should be 3 feet tall anywhere — but they should be roughly 4-5 feet tall… so yeah, really not liking the scale now that I've seen more comparison pics. That Moon Knight (Marvel Select?) is like the minimum height human/villain figures in the line should be, and considering their girth I actually prefer how they look with the Mego. So, yeah, we need an 8" Shredder from Playmates. :/

  • oansun says:

    ERMAHGERD, TURTLES!

    I can't wait to get these guys, I'm loving the articulation so I can do INSANE things.
    As always, fantastic review. I'm even more excited to actually buy a toy in a store for once.
    The Nick Turtles have me just a tad bit more excited, I'm DYING for these. Personally, the depth of the figures I approve of highly. I actually thought they looked pretty thin in the initial press pictures. So, I just want them now.

  • Mario says:

    Awesome review Newt!

    I'm down, plain & simple, & whatever the future holds, so long as Splinter, Shredder, Rocksteady & Bebop get made, I'll be a happy camper.

  • jestergoblin says:

    Playmates making figures in scale with each other? Like that will ever happen!

  • Thanks man.

    I think you'll enjoy them. I'm certainly excited about what the future could possibly hold.

  • Yeah they did look kind of thin in a lot of promo shots and these are by far the thickest Turtles ever released. I think they look grand with MOTUC figures, but your mileage may vary.

  • Man if we could get all those guys you listed, I would be one happy camper. Especially if they were this quality or above.

  • Agent 86 says:

    Do you have any pictures of Mikey with the Walker Krang? That would be the cheaper option since the larger Android Body is in high demand on Ebay.

    And I also have high hopes for a second series. Playmates should be able to share at least a few parts between Shredder, Casey Jones and the Foot Soldiers. Bebop and Rocksteady could also share some parts. And Slash share most of the existing turtle sculpts.

    It's just April O'Neil, Splinter and Krang who will require completely unique sculpts. Although a figure like Krang would make for a great BAF/CnC addition to the second series to encourage people to purchase the entire series.

  • Sure, here you go man:
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8015/7553132718_afe
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7279/7553132600_536

    I updated the post with them as well.

  • Agent 86 says:

    Many thanks!

  • Mondo Gecko says:

    This is easily the best review of these turtles around! I really appreciate the work you put in. Sold me on this one.

  • Thanks. It's always good to hear that.

  • PrfktTear says:

    Holy awesome!

  • Mark says:

    Excellent review. Playmates have really out done NECA now. Can't wait to get these Classicsalong with the new show figures.

  • Reaver_Reav says:

    I just got mine today, and was really dismayed at the costs here… They each cost the equivalent of $35 in my country… ouch!

    But totally worth it!

  • jin says:

    I got all 4 on Ebay Well worth the investment. Don't listen to those that are complaining about the asking price or height they are just bitter lol.

  • JIN says:

    Worth every penny.

  • Agent 86 says:

    IF you review any of the other TMNT Retro-Classic figures, would it be possible to get some photos with the non-turtle "goodies" from the TMNT 2007 movie action figure line (e.g. Splinter, April and Casey Jones).

    I'm not confident we'll see a series 2 and the TMNT 2007 movie figures seem like the best "fit" with the Retro-Classics, aside from the horrible disparity in "width".

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